Potential immediate rule change

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Potential immediate rule change

Postby Kevin » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:53 pm

I'm very hesitant to make rule changes without giving ample time for people to prepare accordingly. But in this case, I think the extremely unusual circumstances of the upcoming season might warrant a change. I'm considering an alteration to how the free agent signing priority works with respect to instances when multiple teams submit a claim for the same player for the upcoming week. As you know, this is currently done by giving priority to whichever team is lower in the standings when transactions are processed on Monday mornings.

Before I get to my proposal, let me explain why I think a change may be needed. With the 2020 season being about a third of the length of a usual season, I considered reducing the number of free agent signings each team could make during the year from the standard number of 10. However, with so much unknown about what is going to happen this year, I don't want to tie your hands too much. It is quite possible that a significant number of players A) suffer injuries at an unusually high rate, B) test positive for COVID-19 and are forced out of action for a couple weeks, C) completely opt-out of playing this season because of health concerns. So I think we may need every one of those 10 free agent signings just to maintain a full roster each week. Since I don't plan on reducing the number of free agent signings each team can make this year, that means there will likely be a much higher number of free agent claims each week, drastically increasing the frequency of multiple teams claiming the same player. Teams that get off to a hot start might find themselves in a situation where they are rarely ever able to sign the free agents they want because teams near the bottom of the standings are constantly claiming those players. This seems a little unfair to me. So here is what I'm proposing...

We could change the free agent claiming priority to a rolling list, not unlike what is pretty standard in fantasy football leagues. There will be a publicly viewable priority list for the week. When multiple teams claim the same player, he will be awarded to the higher team on this priority list. When you claim a player, you move to the back of the list the following week. Ideally, it would be set up such that a team would move to the back of the list immediately when they are awarded a player so that they wouldn't have priority for all other players that same week. But I just don't think I have enough time to implement such a system before the season starts. So if you have the #1 priority for a week, you'll be guaranteed to sign any player you want. To mitigate this to some degree, the order in which teams are re-ordered after signing players in a given week could be determined by how many players they sign. For instance, let's say 3 teams sign players in a week. They previously had priority slots of 1, 3 and 5. Team 1 signs 2 players while 3 and 5 each sign one. They would move back to slots 8, 9 and 10 the following week with Team 3 moving to 8, Team 5 moving to 9 and Team 1 moving to 10.

One nice aspect of such a system is that you could receive immediate feedback as to whether or not you will actually be able to sign a player. If a team ahead of you in priority has submitted a claim for that player, you'll immediately know that you won't be able to sign him and can try a different player. In fact, there would be no reason to proceed with the claim unless you aren't interested in any other free agents and would like to leave the claim just in case the other team deletes their transaction. Similarly, emails would be sent to notify you if a team with higher priority submits a claim for a player you already claimed earlier in the week.

Since time is of the essence, I'm going to go ahead and start working on the necessary code changes to implement this. But if you have issues with it, please don't hesitate to say so. Obviously, it would be easy enough to just leave things exactly as they are. Sorry I didn't think of this a few months ago when I had nothing but free time to implement a more elegant solution.
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Kevin
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Re: Potential immediate rule change

Postby Mike » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:19 am

I have no problem with this. 2020 fantasy baseball is going to be a total crapshoot anyway.
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Re: Potential immediate rule change

Postby David » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:34 am

I agree. Sounds good to me.
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